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Keeping It Civil
53 minutes | Mar 3, 2021
S2:E8: Walter Russell Mead | Is the liberal order crumbling or functioning as we should expect?
Walter Russell Mead and Duncan Moench greatly disagree on whether the First World War was a murky battle between two equally imperfect and imperialist forces. They follow up this discussion with a prescient conversation that anticipates the attempted revolt in January, the enormous need for telecommuting to ease the country's housing crisis — and the extent to which American education can be remade in a more democratic manner. (Their conversation was originally recorded in the spring of 2019. This will be the last episode of Keeping It Civil. Thank you for listening, it's been a good run!)
75 minutes | Jun 4, 2020
S2:E6: Yascha Mounk | What good might come from populism’s rise? A tense conversation
Two scholars of political thought with highly contrasting perspectives (and totally different backgrounds) explore what promise the rise of populism may - or may not - hold. Dr. Moench and Prof. Mounk do their best to disagree amicably on the meaning of populism and the political future. (Please note: this interview was recorded on February 28, 2020)
68 minutes | Apr 25, 2020
S2:E5: Tomás Jiménez | "Build a Wall to Mexico" - Wait, Why? Mexicans Aren't Even Coming Anymore
Has Mexican American immigration been substantively different from German or Irish immigration to the United States — or, is it merely newer? Dr. B. Duncan Moench speaks with Tomás Jiménez to discuss the overlooked similarities —and unseen differences—between Mexican American immigration and its closest historical counterparts.
57 minutes | Mar 27, 2020
S2:E4: Reihan Salam | The Trade-offs to Mass Immigration
The Manhattan Institute's Reihan Salam joins Duncan Moench to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of mass immigration. When low-skill workers call for less immigration do they have genuine concerns regarding competition for jobs and benefits - or, are their views always driven by racism?
53 minutes | Feb 6, 2020
S2:E3: Ramesh Ponnuru | What would a second Trump presidency mean?
National Review Senior Editor Ramesh Ponnuru joins Duncan Moench to discuss whether the US is in the midst of a "Cold Civil War." Are Bernie's supporters really clear on what they mean by "socialism" — does it matter? Why does no one seem particularly concerned about the specifics of how new immigrants are assimilating? With right-to-life support holding steady (or going up) would overturning Roe v. Wade help, or destroy, the GOP politically?
36 minutes | Jan 11, 2020
S2:E2: David Leonhardt | Is Warren "Hillary 2.0"? Are concerns over plastic straws virtue signaling at its worst?
New York Times writer David Leonhardt joins Duncan Moench to debate how best to conceptualize climate change, why the center-left media doesn’t cover Antifa violence, and whether Joe Biden (or Elizabeth Warren) are "Hillary 2.0." Don't forget to rate us and tell your friends and colleagues about the show!
51 minutes | Dec 1, 2019
S2:E1: Harvey Mansfield - the Ivy League's Last Conservative - on Cancel Culture
Harvey Mansfield, Harvard University professor and political philosophy scholar, joins Duncan Moench to discuss being the last (explicitly) conservative professor teaching at an Ivy League university, and how cancel culture reflects serious problems with contemporary liberalism. This discussion includes his dis-invitation from Concordia University’s commencement address and whether dogmatic social justice advocates are really just confused Machiavellians.
58 minutes | Sep 6, 2019
S1:EP12: Musa Al Gharbi | The Actual Beneficiaries of “White Privilege” and Misconceptions of Trump’s Supporters
Al Gharbi’s remarkable life story and the smear campaign that drove him from Univ. of Arizona (5:30); How getting attacked by Fox News spurred his experiment in framing arguments, which changed his life (8:30). Debunking the sociological myths of Trump supporters (12:30). Prejudicial study designs and how they impact our perceptions of Trump supporters (17:00); What does America “really look like” demographically? Minority groups are less likely to identify as “liberal” (20:00) Do prominent black intellectuals like Ta Nehisi Coates actually represent African Americans’ views? Ethnic diversity hiring initiatives ironically often result in a “white” viewpoint echo chamber (25:30). The idea of an emerging Democratic Party majority rests on false assumptions about minority politics and actual voting patterns (29:30). The racial caste system in highly urban areas and white urbanite hipsters who call out white privilege tend to be those most benefiting from it (44:00)
83 minutes | Jul 23, 2019
S1:EP11: Notions of Innocence and Stain in Contemporary Politics with Joshua Mitchell
How he knew Trump would win before anyone else (3:00); Identity politics (IP) as the fig leaf covering the obscene wealth of liberal elites (7:00); globalism leads to “existential homeless” (15:30); the so-called liberal world order is genuinely diverse or even liberal at all (22:30); describing thought he calls “white progressive racism” (33:00); “selfie man” vs. true citizenship (41:30); are FB “friends” a supplement or a replacement for real friendship (46:30); the new notions of purity and stain as manifested in identity politics (54:00); how one establishes their innocence in regards to the stain of racism and sexism through IP (58:00); IP as pseudo-Christianity but without forgiveness or redemption (64:00).
50 minutes | Jul 4, 2019
S1:EP10: Arthur Brooks | Social Entrepreneurship - Risk Taking and Explosive Rewards
The concept of “social entrepreneurship” — how risk taking and “explosive rewards” relate to social and political movements (31:30) AB’s background as a French horn player (and college drop-out) from Seattle who didn’t know any conservatives (1:00-5:00) What convinced him of the power of the free enterprise system (7:45) There is a moral consensus in the US we don’t see (12:00) Are humanities fields like Cultural Studies, English, and History going to fall out of existence? The downsizing of the humanities reflects classic market equilibrium (19:15) Will Americans will never be as populist as the French? (27:30) Education is failing students by not teaching them how to manage themselves (rather than trying to manage the world) (33:50) Changing yourself and maybe a few other people is a major accomplishment (36:00) Is America itself an ideology? (41:00) The US needs more immigrants, not less (42:00)
48 minutes | Jun 20, 2019
S1:EP9: Joanne Freeman: Political violence, Civil War, and watching your words
The role of honor culture and how the practice of dueling played a role in the lead up to the US Civil War. Parallels between Southern attempts to intimidate Northerners and contemporary politically-correct bullying (25:00) The role of the telegraph in exposing the violence in Congress (12:00) Designated physical intimidators and “enforcers” sent to Congress (8:00) Northerners electing “fighting men” to physically fight back against Southern intimidation (13:00) Are we really headed towards a second Civil War? (31:00) Are there similarities between the lead up to the Civil War and the culture war today? (35:00) The role of emotional and inflammatory language in setting the stage for the CW (42:00) Discussion of the 2015 row at Yale regarding Halloween costumes and Prof. Christakis (43:00).
60 minutes | Jun 4, 2019
S1:EP8: Patrick Deneen – Are American elites a new form aristocracy?
Two forms of liberalism — one liberation oriented, the other community oriented (5); Market utility-maximizing thinking creates “statist individualism” (11) Each side of American politics have sides seeking to restrain different parts of liberal excess (12:30); “liberalocrats” operate w/o cultural, moral, or national boundaries but use “social justice” to protect their interests (17); class is not seen as part of identity in the US (21); Trump and his movement represented an attempt to overturn the “liberalocracy” (22); liberalocrats can replace cultural institutions that have declined due to liberal excesses, but the poor and working classes cannot (27).
37 minutes | May 16, 2019
S1:EP7: R. Brookhiser – US political divide not as bad as many say
Witnessing the end of the Roosevelt coalition and rise of the “silent majority” (7); William F. Buckley’s impact on the formation of “fusion” conservatism (11); lessons of Goldwater’s 1964 campaign (13); Buckley’s relationship with Ronald Reagan (15); the odd role of WFB’s Firing Line in giving voice to left (20); Brookhiser’s experiences on the Colbert Report and Jon Stewart (22); is the American divide really worse than ever? (26); California secession - for real? (30); perils of a new constitutional convention (33); how would Lincoln or Jefferson deal with political partisanship today? (34).
51 minutes | May 3, 2019
S1:EP6: Harvard’s Danielle Allen on liberty vs. equality, is balance possible?
Liberty vs. equality - which do Americans prefer? Citizens as co-creators of governance 4:00. How to address inequality—redistribution, or “pre-distribution”? 6:30 Would a better voting system create more participation? 15:00 Do legislators need a spirit of compromise for democracy to function? 21:00 Is speech essential to empowerment? 30:00 Punishment vs. rehabilitation 40:00 Which drugs should be legalized? 41:00
41 minutes | Apr 17, 2019
S1:EP5: Mark Lilla a “pre-McGovern" liberal on IP’s pseudo politics
The “Reagan” vs. the “Roosevelt” dispensation 1:30.The New Left and New Right - both highly individualistic 6:30. The transition away from family in a govt policy 9:50. Identity politics’ (IP) relationship to “pseudo politics” 12:30. The snobbery of the cultural left 16:30. Building a culture of entrepreneurship inside minority communities 18:30. What does the label “pre-McGovern Liberal” mean? 25:40. Do PC taboos really help the left? 33:30. Why IP can’t reject the inherent trade-offs of politics 36:30.
23 minutes | Apr 4, 2019
S1:EP4: Douthat on intellectual diversity in the media pt. 2 of 2
Is Douthat a “populist,” are there any populists in the “mainstream media” — is it even conceivable for an authentic populist to be employed there? The narrow intellectual diversity reflected in the media (5:00). No genuine intellectual outlet for Middle America (9:00). Decay of regional institutions of intellectual thought (11:45). Healthy institutional religious culture (14:00). The negative impact of social media and the technological revolution (18:00).
32 minutes | Apr 3, 2019
S1:EP3: Ross Douthat on woke liberal religiosity pt. 1 of 2
What makes American religious culture so unique? Is “woke liberalism” part of that religious history, what of Trump’s “empty Christian religiosity”? Americans are Christian heretics (2:30). The transition from older religious environments to the newer ones of today (12:30). Treating the New Left as a religious awakening and a search for a new moral center. The push for free speech and intellectual diversity isn’t enough (20:30). Is there intellectual diversity or even regional diversity in mainstream media? (26:30)
30 minutes | Mar 8, 2019
S1:EP2: Populism as identity politics. Jonah Goldberg pt. 2 of 2
Part two of Duncan’s interview with Jonah Goldberg. They continue their discussion of the causes of political tribalism and the radical takeover of higher education as well as Goldberg’s views on the rise of populism and identity politics, which he calls a form of identity politics. How do these developments relate to the deterioration of civil society?
26 minutes | Mar 7, 2019
S1:EP1: Jonah Goldberg on “Conflict” vs. “Consensus” history pt. 1 of 2
Part one of Duncan’s interview with Jonah Goldberg. Duncan and Jonah discuss how the Howard Zinn approach to American history (the so-called “conflict school”) has changed higher education and why American students fail to appreciate the uniqueness of the American liberal tradition.
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